Grisaille is a very old painting technique that begins with the artist painting the the entire image only in gray values. It looks like a black and white photo. After this is done, thin glazes of color are built up over the gray values. The glazes are transparent and there are many layers of them. By layering the color on, the painting takes on a glow of natural light and a very realistic look. The above painting was begun using this method. However, I diverged of the process when I started adding color. I also add some colors straight from the tube with no glaze medium added. I also achieved some of the textures by using a dry brush technique.
The painting below was completely done using only the grisaille technique. As you scroll down you’ll see how the technique was followed. The rose painting was my first attempt at using grisaille.